A Nightmare Before Christmas

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Dec 27, 2015 10:00 pm PST

Over half of IT professionals report they’re worried their network will suffer a data breach at the hands of a careless celebration

Dealing with potential data loss will be the number one headache confronting IT professionals in the run up to the 2015 holiday season. According to the third annual “Happy Holidays?” survey from Ipswitch, over one-third of IT professionals in the UK (36%) confirm they have had an IT user report the loss of a device holding company data following holiday celebrations in a pub, restaurant, or at a party.

A further one-in-five (19%) go on to say they have had to manage the fallout that results from a user leaving their phone, tablet or laptop in the back of a taxi or on public transport during the holiday season.

“Time and again throughout the festivities, IT professionals will be called upon to deal with the potential consequences of a device accidently falling into the wrong hands,” says Michael Hack, Senior Vice President of EMEA Operations, Ipswitch. “In such scenarios, information security is the primary concern and that’s why it’s always a good idea to have security measures in place – so that even if an employee’s laptop or phone is lost or stolen, there’s not sensitive data or apps available to anyone in possession of the device.”

Coping with the Nightmare before Christmas

While IT users are partying away, the IT team is left to tackle the consequences that can result from the festive cheer of their corporate colleagues. Indeed, over half of IT professionals (57%) surveyed this year report being worried that their network could suffer a data breach at the hands of a careless celebration this year.

Respondents also confirm they will be kept hard at work throughout the holidays, thanks to the demands of today’s non-stop connected world of business. Over a quarter (27%) say they are either on call or working on Christmas Eve, with one-in-ten (10%) on call on Christmas Day and 13 per cent also expecting to work on New Year’s Eve.

“Today’s network and server monitoring performance solutions can help IT professionals to take some well deserved time out – just like everyone else in the business,” continues Michael Hack. “Real-time alerts and notifications delivered via email or text make it easy to remotely monitor network performance and proactively respond to problems before they impact users, applications or the business.”

The Holiday Horrors Continue

With the run up to Christmas over, there’s still no let up in sight for the IT team. Over one quarter (26%) of IT professionals say they expect up to half (50%) of their company’s workforce will work from home during the holidays. Typically, these users can be inexperienced at remote working and frequently encounter problems that result in the IT team being called into action to deliver a fast resolution.

Survey respondents confirm that the issues they’re typically asked to tackle during the holidays include a user’s laptop not working (39%), problems accessing the network remotely (36%), poor application performance (28%) and security related issues (21%).

Christmas Wish List

While survey respondents anticipate limited opportunities to relax and unwind this holiday season, they are hoping for some high end gifts from Santa. This year wearable technology, such as Fitness bands and Smart Watches, are the ‘must have’ gadgets that over one-third (34%) of IT professionals say is top of their gift request list to Santa.

New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

IT professionals are already ahead of the game when it comes to preparing their New Year Resolutions. Increasing the level of network security was the number one priority for over half of respondents (53%), followed by more budget and resources (19%) and improved internal communications and customer satisfaction (18%).

“This year’s survey highlights how data security and keeping the network safe beyond the holiday season is a major concern for the IT department,” concludes Michael Hack.

“User mishaps at this time of year represent a significant risk to the business, placing additional unwelcome demands on the IT team who have to fix the problem. Now, more than at any time of year, IT leaders should take time to gently remind users of security policies and procedures so that, should untoward events occur, the enterprise is not compromised – and IT Pros get to sleep well at night.

[su_box title=”About Ipswitch” style=”noise” box_color=”#336588″]IpswitchIpswitch helps solve complex IT problems with simple solutions. The company’s software has been installed on more than 150,000 networks spanning 168 countries to monitor networks, applications and servers, and securely transfer files between systems, business partners and customers. Ipswitch was founded in 1991 and is based in Lexington, Massachusetts with offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.[/su_box]

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